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PROPERTY

Seven gorgeous Swedish holiday homes for less than a million kronor

Fancy owning a beautiful red wooden cottage in Sweden for the same price as a shed in London or New York? It's the best time in years for foreigners to buy property in the Nordic nation, thanks to the weak krona.

Seven gorgeous Swedish holiday homes for less than a million kronor
You could have your very own little red cottage in the Swedish countryside for less than 100,000 euros. Photo: Ulf Lundin/imagebank.sweden.se

With its chilly winter climate, famously expensive restaurants and unfamiliar language, Sweden might not seem like the obvious place to move to or buy a holiday home in. But if you’re paying in foreign currency, now may be the time to buy.

Swedish properties offer owners the chance to enjoy some of Scandinavia’s most pristine lakes and deep green forests alongside historic towns and villages. Plus Sweden has longer days and more sunlight than much of Europe during the summer months, when temperatures can regularly climb to 25 degrees in the south.

In general, Swedes look for holiday homes closer to the coast and nearer to major cities, so prices are much lower inland near smaller towns. Central Skåne is a good bet for warmer weather and easy access from the rest of Europe, but if you want really cheap prices you should head further north.

Here is an entirely impartial selection of properties costing less than a million kronor (at the time of publication: €90,084, $96,691, £79,023).

Andåsen 152, Härjedalens municipality

This red wooden summer house in Härjedalen, northern Sweden complete with its own sauna is a steal at just 450,000 kronor (€40,380). Although the property ad states that it only has two rooms, you’ll actually have access to two wooden cottages.

The first has one bedroom, as well as an open plan kitchen/living area with a woodburner and an open fireplace, and the second has a large reception room with windows in three directions as well as your very own woodburning sauna.

If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also have access to a guest cottage with space for up to four people to sleep.

The cottages are located by Andåssjön lake, on a small hill surrounded by forest and ten minutes away from a sandy beach with a bathing spot and space for you to put your boat.

Andåsen lies a half an hour drive from Härjedalen-Sveg airport which has direct connections to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport. Why not spend a few days in the Swedish capital before heading out into nature for the summer?

Sandy beaches on Seskarö in northern Sweden. Photo: Simon Eliasson/TT

Seskarö, Haparanda

This one-story three bedroom house on the market for 850,000 kronor (€76,615) is suitable as a summer house or permanent residence. The house lies on the island of Seskarö, 24 kilometres southwest of Haparanda in northern Sweden.

Just a stone’s throw from the beach, this summer house provides easy access to swimming and fishing spots, as well as a number of restaurants on the island.

Although it comes into its element in the summer – there’s a garden with enough space for growing vegetables – this house also has a cosy open fireplace and a sauna to keep you warm during the winter.

Seskarö is around an hour and a half by car from Luleå, which has direct flights to Stockholm.

Hultsfred, Småland

This four-bedroom house in the small town of Hultsfred in Småland could be yours for 795,000 kronor (€71,357). Hultsfred is a popular town during the summer with nearby lakes providing great opportunities for swimming and walking, with Knästorp nature reserve on your doorstep.

The house, located in central Hultsfred, has recently been renovated with a modern kitchen and two bathrooms perfect for a large family. It’s not classified as a summer house, which means you’d be able to live here all year round if you wanted.

It takes around two hours to reach Hultsfred via train from Linköping, which has direct flights to all major Swedish airports, as well as Toulouse and Amsterdam.

Småland is known for its lakes and forests. Photo: August Dellert/imagebank.sweden.se

Yxenhaga, Småland

These red cottages situated in the summer house resort of Yxenhaga in Småland are surrounded by nature, with forests and lakes within walking distance. The cottages are now on sale, with a mix of one bedroom, two bedroom and studio cottages on offer. Prices range from 725,000 kronor (€65,160) for a one bedroom cottage to 1,050,000 kronor (€94,370) if you want to buy a one-bed and studio cottage together.

Despite their location on a summer resort, these cottages are classed as all-year residencies, meaning you can stay in them whenever you like – even full time, if you wanted.

These cottages are very family friendly with playgrounds on the resort site, and there are many activities on offer in the surrounding area, such as canoeing, fishing, swimming, ball games and even a sauna with a view of the water.

Jönköping is the closest town, with the bus from nearby Kinnebro – a fifteen minute cycle ride away – taking around 40 minutes.

The closest major international airport is in Gothenburg, which can be reached in two hours by car or three and a half hours by public transport.

Vittsjö, Skåne

This charming two-bedroom torp cottage, priced at 795,000 kronor (€71,357) and built in 1915, is situated 6.5 kilometres outside the Scanian town of Vittsjö with a view over forests, fields and meadows. It takes around 10 minutes to walk down to Öresjön lake for a swim.

The Skåneleden bike route runs through Vittsjö, making this a great option for cycle enthusiasts. Photo: Apelöga/imagebank.sweden.se

Despite its location out in the countryside, it takes under two hours to get to Vittsjö from Copenhagen Airport via train through Hässleholm, making this a great choice for a summer house if you live in the rest of Europe and would like to be able to get here in under a day.

Slite, Gotland

This little summer house in Slite on the island of Gotland has one room and a kitchenette, as well as a little veranda with a view of the sea. It’s on the market for 950,000 kronor (€85,450), and can be rented out to earn some money when you’re not using it.

Just a stone’s throw away from Gotland’s only archipelago, this is the perfect summer house if you like spending time on the water, with daily boat tours available to book during summer.

There are a number of activities on offer within walking distance, such as a tennis court, sports hall, ice skating rink, mountaine bike routes and walking trails. You can also rent kayaks and bikes in the resort.

The association also offers a floating sauna which can be rented for 50 kronor.

There is a direct bus from Slite to Visby, which takes one hour, and direct flights from Visby airport to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Norrköping airports.

Fårösund, Gotland

A timeshare in this tip-top summer house in Northern Gotland, where you would be able to stay for five weeks a year, is currently on the market for 450,000 kronor (€40,495).

This house has three bedrooms, one bathroom and a guest toilet, as well as a smaller building for guests. It also has ample outside space with two gardens, a sheltered inner courtyard and a patio with sea views.

Fårö island off the coast of northern Gotland. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

The house is by Kronhaga beach in Fårösund, a small town with restaurants, shops, cafes and other amenities. Suitable for relaxation or active holidays, there are walking trails, tennis and padel courts nearby, as well as Fårö island – the home of late Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman – which can be reached by an eight-minute ferry ride.

Fårösund is an hour and a half away from Visby by direct bus, or just under an hour by car.

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ECONOMY

Should you get a fixed or variable rate mortgage in Sweden?

Now that inflation is below the central bank's 2 percent target and interest rates are expected to fall, you might be wondering if your Swedish mortgage rate should be fixed or variable. We asked an expert for his advice.

Should you get a fixed or variable rate mortgage in Sweden?

“First and foremost, the decision as to whether you should have a fixed or variable mortgage rate should be based on your own financial situation,” SEB bank’s household economist Américo Fernández told The Local.

Most Swedish households have variable-rate mortgages, but with rates dropping on fixed-rate mortgages, you might be wondering if it’s time to swap.

READ ALSO: Why are variable rate mortgages so popular in Sweden?

“If we look at fixed rates, we’re talking about three, four, five years. Today, those are still cheaper than the variable three-month rates,” he said.

Variable rates haven’t fallen yet, Fernández said, but they probably will if the central bank cuts rates next month.

“If you’re in a situation where you need to take out a mortgage now, you can’t necessarily wait until the variable rate falls. There’s always a risk that there will be setbacks with inflation, leading the Riksbank to perhaps hold back later. You won’t benefit from lower rates just yet.”

“For those with small financial margins who can’t risk the rate changing, it might be a good idea to get a fixed rate,” Fernández advised.

“There are two things to look at here – where the fixed rate is heading and where the variable three-month rate is heading.”

“The variable three-month rate is almost one-to-one linked to the Riksbank’s decisions,” he said. “So if you think the Riksbank is going to cut rates in August, which we do think, then we should see almost the same cut to variable three-month rates.”

“That’s a keyword, three-month rates, because even the variable rates are fixed for three months, so there’s a delayed effect. So this might not be something you notice in your wallet until later in the autumn, and that can be said for the next cut, too.”

The Riksbank is expected to cut rates in August, with another three cuts coming over the next year, he added.

SEE ALSO: What could low inflation mean for foreigners in Sweden?

“So if we look 12-18 months into the future, then that should mean that the variable three-month rate has gone down by around 1.5 percent. That’s a lot of money if you have a relatively large mortgage in the Stockholm area, for example.”

Fixed rate mortgages, however, have less to do with the Swedish Riksbank, and more to do with the global financial situation.

“If you’re waiting for fixed rates on longer-term loans to drop, you should be looking at the US. They’re the world’s largest economy and they still haven’t cut their rates. Once they start to discuss it, if they say ‘we’re getting closer to lowering rates’, then that sends a signal to the whole financial market that the world’s largest economy is about to lower its rates, which in turn means that the expectation is that interest rates will be lower in the future than they are today.”

“That then affects the long-term market rates. They’ll go down.”

READ MORE: Three ways Sweden’s slashed interest rate will boost your finances

“So when the US sends a signal that they’re going to lower their rates, you can expect fixed rates in Sweden to start going down, too. Not a lot, because they’ve already gone down a lot, but a little bit more.”

No matter what kind of rate you choose, it’s important to know that it’s impossible to predict for certain when rates will drop and by how much.

“Of course, none of this is certain. This is all based on the assumption that inflation will keep dropping. Maybe we’ll see an escalation in the war during the winter which could drive energy prices up and then we’ll see an increase in inflation. Then the cut in rates would occur later, and you wouldn’t get a benefit from lower rates. There’s a risk, of course, with variable rates.

They’ll drop at some point, but it could take a while and there’s a risk you won’t see lower rates for a while. But fixed rates are already lower.”

For new arrivals to the country who may not be sure how long they’ll be living in the country, or even in a particular area, it’s important to factor in future plans, too.

“Would you benefit from three- or five-year loans, or are you only going to live in the property for a year? If you leave before your term has ended you’d have to pay a fee, so you should bear that in mind too.”

IN FIGURES: How could lower interest rates affect your Swedish mortgage?

Fernández’ advice to those who aren’t able to wait for rates to drop, is to fix half of their mortgage on a long-term rate and have the other half on a variable rate, for added flexibility.

“You’d cut part of your interest costs on a fixed rate loan for a few years, and then you can hold the rest on a variable rate and wait for rates to drop later.”

When you take out a mortgage in Sweden, the bank will check to make sure your income can handle rates going up to rates as high as six or seven percent, meaning that you should in theory at least have some money left over once you’ve paid for your mortgage and other running costs, like your monthly fee to your housing association, or services like water and electricity.

“The problem for many households is that they spend this money,” Fernández said. 

“You need to renovate, decorate, which is natural, but what you could do is put some of that money into an interest buffer,” he said. “If you’re buying a house, I’d advise you to put as much money aside as you can, partly because interest rates might not go down as much as you maybe hoped, but also because it helps you plan for the future, if there is a cold winter and energy prices go up, for example.”

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